Russia thumbs its nose at the world with new vaccine results

Feb. 2, 2021

After months of criticism and skepticism, peer-reviewed results from a late-stage trial have shown that Russia’s Sputnik V vaccine is highly effective.

Published in The Lancet medical journal, the trial results revealed that of the 19,866 volunteers who participated in the late-stage trial, 16 developed symptomatic COVID-19 versus 62 in the placebo group. Bottom line: The vaccine is about 92 percent effective. 

The vaccine was given as a two-dose regimen about 21 days apart. The shot was also shown to be about 92 percent effective in patients over 60 and completely prevented cases of severe COVID-19. 

This is the fourth time phase 3 trial results for a coronavirus vaccine have been published in a peer-reviewed journal. 

The vaccine was developed by the Gamaleya Institute and will be marketed abroad by the Russia Direct Investment Fund (RDIF), who have applied for approval with the EMA. 

Russian regulators approved the vaccine in August — the first approval for a coronavirus vaccine in the world — before late-stage trials even began. Health experts around the world panned the approval and accused the Russians of acting too hastily. But according to Kirill Dmitriev, head of RDIF, the results validate Russia’s approach. 

“Russia was right all along,” Dmitriev told reporters on Tuesday. 

Read the Reuters report.